It’s wish time. Why? Because I said so. Also any time is wish time - it’s always wish time.
Every now and then, I sit down and do an intensive wish session. I write down my wishes, and then when they come true, I sign them off with a little heart.
The funny thing about this - and wishes can often be quite funny - is that when I write the list, it always feels hugely ambitious and unlikely. Then when I go through the list, it seems like the most humdrum, obvious thing, more like a shopping list than a “wildest fantasies dream checklist.”
This is why I advise aiming high and going big. Because afterward it will cross your mind: What if I had wished for ten times more?
I wished for something that seemed completely impossible, and then got worse. A certain measure of suckage had entered my life, and things kept getting progressively more complicated, and then my hands blew up with my first-ever case of eczema. Like great, that’s really going to help. I wished that the eczema would go away and never come back.
Then I got a truly grotesque rash on the back of both hands. I assumed it was eczema as well, but my prescription ointment only seemed to inflame it. It itched so badly I got out of bed in the middle of the night and dragged my hands around on the carpet.
I wrote to my doctor, and he forwarded my message to a dermatologist, and they prescribed a super top-secret steroid cream. At this moment, defying belief, both the gnarly rash and the eczema are gone.
I got three tubes for $10 and I am going to take one with me everywhere I go until it expires.
The thing about wishing is that usually we wind up focusing all our wishes on getting rid of bad things in our life. Which is fine - I can say from recent experience that the elimination of something annoying or disgusting from your life can feel more valuable than money.
On the other hand, what about all the fine wishes for positive things that we may be leaving on the table?
Somewhere in the middle: are we appreciating all the routine things in our lives that we may one day feel we had taken for granted?
(If you can’t think of any, hold up your hands, noticing that you have them - assuming you do - and turn them back and forth. If your hands are free of the torment of a red, angry rash that wakes you out of a dead sleep, pause a moment and be glad).
Another person looking at their hands might be thinking, hmm, nail art. Or hmm, rings. Or hmm, henna.
The physical objects before us seem so real and self-explanatory. Our wishes, not so much - until we manifest them, after which they transform into obvious and then uninteresting reality.
I made a list of wishes. Whenever I do this, I try to fill the whole page, all the way to the bottom.
One of my wishes was to safely visit my family, none of whom I had seen in a year and a half. At the time that I wrote the wish, there were a lot of technical challenges in the way. Then I set it up, and it wound up being simple. I got there and back and nobody got COVID. Once I learned how to “get away with” traveling in my MicroClimate helmet, I realized that I could now confidently board any plane, train, bus, or subway. What I formerly perceived to be an intractable problem became almost a non-issue.
Another of my wishes was to “go camping in fine weather.” This also seemed unlikely, if not impossible, but I diligently brought my gear just in case. We pulled it off. Not so much as a single drop of rain. I didn’t even get a mosquito bite. As I sat in my little folding backpacking chair, I remembered that this was something I used to do all the time. I had just forgotten how.
The wish to revive an old habit or resuscitate an old friendship should be one of the simplest, most obvious wishes of all.
As I look at this hopefully, drippingly earnest and optimistic wish list, I see that there are only a couple items left on it. One of them is for all COVID cases to be wiped out on the entire West Coast. This seems like a dumb and impossible wish, but then people probably felt the same way about a century ago in San Francisco during the Spanish Flu epidemic. One day it will be gone and everyone will forget that it ever happened. I put my walk into my talk, and got my vaccines, and worked hard to convince everyone I know to do the same. There are always actions within reach to pull our wishes closer, and we should take those concrete actions when we can.
There is an item that was not on this list, because when I wrote it, it was a wish I didn’t know I would need to make. My poor little gray parrot had a stroke. I put all my wish power into her still being alive and well when I got home, so I could get a chance to say goodbye. Much to my shock and awe, three weeks later, she is still here and still waving to be picked up and still making kissing sounds.
After gratefully receiving every item on a list of wishes, it tends to feel like... there must be nothing left to wish for? Surely we have everything by now?
Wishing, though, is what gradually improves the world for everyone. Nothing can be simpler than uncovering a grievance or irritation that could be improved. It takes slightly more imagination to expand into something good that does not yet exist.
What are you going to wish for? What does your wish list look like? Are you going to use a special color of ink or are you maybe going to paint yours or make it into a vision board?
Now pardon me, it’s time to make my own wishes. Remember, it is always wish time!
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies